Affect and memory : an investigation of a learning task that utilizes affect as an aid to memory : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education at Massey University
This thesis explored through experimental and correlational conditions the relationship of affect and memory. Some of the individual and situational factors that were associated with the variance in performance were identified. One hundred and twenty children between nine and twelve years of age in three widely separated schools participated in the study. The children were provided with lists of words to learn by using five learning tasks. A learning task that involved affect achieved memory performances that were quantitatively greater than the results achieved after other learning tasks. The empathic ability of the children was measured through an analogue. The children responded how individuals felt in certain video excerpts. The empathic ability of the children was related significantly to memory performances achieved after the learning task that involved affect. A questionnaire was answered by the children that gave their perceptions of their mother's and their father's behaviours and feelings. Various statments appeared that were consistently and significantly related to the empathic ability of the children. These items indicated that the factors of support, anger-anxiety, and demand were differentially related to the empathic ability of the children. A model of relationships that included the child's perceptions of the parents, the empathic ability of the child, and memory performances achieved after the learning task that involved affect was presented. Some implications for classroom implementation were advanced.